Kerala Police, which initially said that eight people had died in a boat accident here, on Wednesday evening revised the toll to six…reports Asian Lite News
There was some confusion about the number of dead but now it has been confirmed that six people have died and their bodies have been kept in the state-run hospital in Kochi, Mohammed Yasin, additional director general of police, told reporters.
“There was some speculation that one person is missing, but so far there has been no complaint. About 20 people are in hospital. The entire rescue operation was conducted by 16 ships, two helicopters and two cranes,” said Yasin.
The victims were travelling on a passenger boat, which was hit by a fishing boat and broke down near Fort Kochi on Wednesday afternoon.
The police have taken into custody a crew member of the fishing boat that rammed into the passenger boat.
Police supervising the rescue operations said the passenger boat was carrying over 30 people who were going to Vypeen island from Fort Kochi.
According to a witness, the fishing boat was reversing when it hit the passenger boat.
“The accident took place about 100 metres from the Fort Kochi boat jetty, which is the international shipping route. Hence, even if someone is a swimmer, it’s difficult to survive,” said Samson, the witness.
“The place is frequently dredged and hence the place where the accident took place is very deep,” Samson added.
Police said as soon as the accident occurred, the navy and the Coast Guard swung into action and rescued around 20 people even as the boat was sinking.
Some of those rescued died after being taken to a nearby hospital. Most passengers were residents of Vypeen.